Generate on-demand DXF Sheet Metal Flat Patterns in Vault

September 26, 2022 Bob Felton


How to generate an on-demand DXF Flat Pattern from an Inventor sheet metal .ipt file using the IMAGINiT Vault Client Utilities and the Vault Job Processor.


Starting with the 2021 edition of the IMAGINiT Vault Client Utilities, the IMAGINIT.SHEETMETALFLATPATTERNCREATOR job can be sent to the Vault Job Server and then appear in the Vault Client's Job Queue (under Tools).

That option is available with a right-click from a selected Inventor .ipt file in Vault that has the iProperty 'File SubType' set to 'Sheet Metal', like this:


Problem 1:

But, the Job Processor may not be able to process the DXF Flat Pattern job and may show an error like this in the Job Queue:  "COMException: Unspecified Error (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80004005)"



Problem 2:

Also, the resulting flat pattern in dxf form may show unwanted features, such as arc centers, tool centers, bend lines and tangents for bends as shown below.




Problem 3:

Since DXF flat patterns can only be generated from Inventor IPT files that have the 'File Subtype' property set to the 'Sheet Metal' value, rather than 'Modeling', is it possible to select a folder of files and have DXF flat patterns generated only from the eligible files?



Problem 1 Solution:

The COMException error is caused by the absence of Inventor being installed on the Job Processor host.  Even though the Inventor Server has been installing with the Vault client since the 2020.2 Update, it is not sufficient to process the DXF flat pattern. Full Inventor needs to be installed to process the DXF flat pattern correctly.

Problem 2 Solution:

For the unwanted DXF features, the IMAGINiT Vault Client Utilities Help file notes that the Inventor layers for the unwanted features can be turned off in the DXF_SheetMetal.ini file located here:

C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Vault <version>\Extensions\IMAGINiT.VaultJobs\DXF_SheetMetal.ini

Note: The IMAGINiT Vault Client Utilities Help file is located here:

C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Vault 202X<version>\Extensions\IMAGINiT.VaultClientUtils\IMAGINiT_Utilities_for_Vault_Client.chm



Here is an example of turning off the unwanted Inventor layers, highlighted in orange, before the DXF flat pattern file is generated and the result in the next DXF that is generated.



Problem 3 Solution:

When a group of files is selected and sent to make DXF flat patterns, the jobs for the ineligible files will be automatically removed from the Job Queue after a few minutes.